Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Volunteers Week 2019

Here at SATRO, we owe a huge thank you to our volunteers. They are vital to us and we certainly couldn’t do what we do without them! We know it is important that volunteers feel valued and that their employers know their staff have had a productive and positive experience with us. Many of our volunteers sign up so they can ‘make a difference’ to young people and are frequently surprised by how much they have learnt from the experience themselves. 


We asked Steve from UNUM who volunteers as a Mentor for SATRO why he does it? Here's what he had to say... 

"The most important factor to consider for me is the balance between your own personal development and feeling like you are giving something back. The opportunity to work as a volunteer (Mentor) for SATRO arrived through my workplace Unum, who have very strong partnerships in the local community and a strong culture of giving back. What I have gained from the experience of mentoring Year 10 & 11 students at Therfield School has been, improved listening skills, patience, resilience, perseverance and finally reward. To be a part of a young person’s development at such an important point in their lives is truly a privilege." - Steve, UNUM


Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Volunteers Week 2019




Here at SATRO, we owe a huge thank you to our volunteers. They are vital to us and we certainly couldn’t do what we do without them! We know it is important that volunteers feel valued and that their employers know their staff have had a productive and positive experience with us. Many of our volunteers sign up so they can ‘make a difference’ to young people and are frequently surprised by how much they have learnt from the experience themselves. 

We asked Nick from Sanofi who volunteers as a Mentor for SATRO why he does it? Here's what he had to say... 



"Next week I'll be visiting with my year 11 student for the last time as she starts her GCSE's the very next day. It's been an amazing journey for us, it all began with a tour of the school where she declared "This is like meeting my dad for the first time" I replied with the obvious dad joke, "I'm pretty sure I'm not your father!" and our relationship went from there with the same openness and innocence as that opening conversation.

I joined SATRO thinking that it would be like Good Will Hunting, I thought there would be this Math’s genius who needed help setting their talent free, but I quickly realised that there were more pressing issues that the school wanted our help with.

It was confirmed after a few visits that the students of the scheme were in a special group of students who had difficult backgrounds and as such they wanted us to be there for them. That was a relief to me as it meant that I went from trying to push complicated ideas and concepts to just being there. And I made the amazing student a promise at that point (more on her later), I'm going to prove to her that in her life there's going to be a guy that always shows up, that's it, I'm going to relentlessly show up for her, listen to her and show her that we can be nice, dependable and be there for her.

Turns out that was all she ever needed, no algebra on a blackboard or hypothesis, she just needed to know that she was worthy of being listened to, and hopefully those GCSE's will take care of themselves as a result... (fingers crossed)
So if you're thinking of volunteering.. go do it, it might just change lives." - Nick, SANOFI 

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Volunteers Week 2019




Here at SATRO, we owe a huge thank you to our volunteers. They are vital to us and we certainly couldn’t do what we do without them! We know it is important that volunteers feel valued and that their employers know their staff have had a productive and positive experience with us. Many of our volunteers sign up so they can ‘make a difference’ to young people and are frequently surprised by how much they have learnt from the experience themselves. 


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A thank you note to our wonderful Volunteers from our Chairman, Howard Railton: 

“What SATRO delivers reflects the fantastic pool of Volunteers that we have who give so much of their time and enthusiasm to help us deliver a wide range of outstanding programmes.  STEM education and skills are a national crisis. Our Volunteers understand that the long-term future of business, innovation and invention in the UK depends on trying to do something about it. SATRO is engaged at the grass roots of education and delivers effective and inspiring STEM programmes for young people. We can only do this by harnessing the knowledge and professional experience of our volunteers without whom, SATRO would not be able to do any of these wonderful things.  Thank you all.” - Howard Railton, SATRO Chairman. 

Thursday, 22 November 2018


Born in Austria on November 9th 1914, Hedy Lamarr (Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) grew up to be one to the most beautiful and gifted Hollywood actresses of the 1940s starring in a range of classic high grossing MGM films.

Unknown to the public she was also a talented inventor. Her burning desire was to be a scientist and although untrained produced some ground breaking innovations.

Her first husband was an Austrian armaments manufacturer and Hedy, a young actress, was able to mix with scientists and professionals in military technology. This first awakened her to the field of applied science. Unhappy, in 1936, she decided to divorce and leave Europe for the USA and Hollywood where her acting career would quickly blossom.

Her second husband was Howard Hughes, a film producer, aviator and inventor. She advised him on the aerodynamic shape of his aircraft designs. Recognising her genius he made available his staff and workshops so she could develop her ceaseless flow of ideas.

In 1940, WW2 was looming and the US Government set up the National Inventors Council to coordinate potential military inventions from the public. Hedy wanted to join but instead was advised to use her Film Star status to campaign for War Bonds, collecting funds for the war effort.

This did not stop Hedy inventing. She thought that military radio frequencies could be easily jammed, especially for radio controlled torpedoes. Her solution was a method now called frequency hopping. In collaboration with a pianist friend they miniaturised automatic piano player devices and synchronised them. Instead of playing piano tunes, different radio frequencies would  substitute the key notes allowing a message to be communicated across the radio spectrum.

Hedy patented their system but it was dismissed by the military. She later discovered her invention had been used in secret by the US Navy and won Government compensation.

Hedy Lamarr was finally recognised in 1997, winning the US Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and in 2014 posthumously inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame. She died on 19th January 2000 aged 85.

Hedy's greatest invention lives on! The frequency hopping method is incorporated into Bluetooth and WiFi electronics of Smartphones and mobile devices to help keep our communication secure.

Blog written by John Faulkner, SATRO Volunteer

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Freya Bowden - Summer STEM Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

The STEM placement students are sending us weekly blogs all about their experience in the world of work! 


Work experience is great and it provides students with many benefits whilst gaining skills and helping choose the right future career path for pupils. Having work experience on a Curriculum Vitae will make a person stand out to employers as they will notice they have motivation and a real passion for work. It will also help to boost a students confidence in themselves!


See how Freya is getting on with her STEM placement! 

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Week One 

"During my first week at Headway I spent Monday doing background research and looking through the data the centre had. Tuesday, I spent the day with clients, helping out with their worksheets and watching the session on memory. It was interesting to see how the clients are presented with different problems (symptoms) after their acquired brain injury. 

Wednesday I spent doing further research, reading papers and accumulating data from the survey on mobile phones carried out by the clients who attended Tuesdays session. Thursday again I spent with clients, and Friday I spent beginning my report. It’s been an interesting week, I’ve enjoyed learning more about memory, acquired brain injuries and the clients."

- Freya Bowden

Lois Whitelegg - Summer STEM Work Placement - Weekly Reports

The STEM placement students are sending us weekly blogs all about their experience in the world of work! 


Work experience is great and it provides students with many benefits whilst gaining skills and helping choose the right future career path for pupils. Having work experience on a Curriculum Vitae will make a person stand out to employers as they will notice they have motivation and a real passion for work. It will also help to boost a students confidence in themselves!


See how Lois is getting on with her STEM placement!

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Week One

"During my first week I was able to become familiar with the work that is being done by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young and the Cardiac Investigations Department at St. George’s Hospital. I was able to observe the diagnostic tools that are used to diagnose heart conditions, such as ECGs, Echocardiograms and Cardiopulmonary Exercise Tests. 

I have started to look into different heart conditions, specifically those which affect younger people, which has allowed me to start gaining an understanding of why research into inherited cardiac conditions is so important. I have also been able to start thinking about possible ideas for a project."

Week Two

"This week I decided to base my project on the psychological effects of a heart condition on an athlete. This is something that little research has been done on despite the large lifestyle adaptions a heart condition may lead to, particularly regarding physical activity. As well as this I have been able to shadow doctors in their clinics with patients, which has been a very valuable and interesting experience in gaining an understanding of different heart conditions and seeing the effective ways in which doctors interact with their patients."

Week Three 

"During my week I have started to research into methods of surveying patients, as well as writing my own survey to use for my study. I was also able to again be involved with the diagnostic processes, which has helped to deepen my knowledge of different heart conditions such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. 

Furthermore I was able to shadow a doctor who did a Heart Failure patient ward round allowing me to go to various wards in the hospital and see the effects of Heart Failure on a range of patients in a different environment than I had been in previously, only seeing outpatients."

Week Four

"Now I have started to conduct my survey on patients and start analysing the responses. Also I have been able to assist in setting up the diagnostic tests for patients and assist in writing reports for patients. This has showed me the importance of accurately documenting the results of diagnostic tests so that they can effectively be used to help in diagnosing the patient." 

- Lois Whitelegg